Acacia berlandieri

Accession Count: 14
Common Name: guajillo, Berlandier's acacia
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Family Name: Fabaceae
Botanical Name: Acacia berlandieri
Botanical Synonyms: Senegalia berlandieri, Acacia emoryana
Family Synonyms: Leguminosae
Sub Species:
Characteristics: Acacia berlandieri is a shrub which can be trained into a small tree. It has medium green, bipinnate leaves with ten to twelve pairs of pinnae, and thirty to fifty pairs of leaflets. Its leaves are oblong, one fourth of an inch long, and exhibit alternate phyllotaxy. Its bark is gray and smooth. It has white and aromatic flowers, and small, prickly thorns.
Compound: Aca ber
Geographic Origin: Texas/Northeast Mexico
Ecozone Origin: Nearctic
Biome Origin:
Natural History: Guajillo is a multi-stemmed shrub that is mainly distributed in the Southwestern United States and Northeastern Mexico (1). It grows best in dry, gravelly or sandy soil, and is often found on hillsides and slopes (2,4). The A. berlandieri spreads via seeds. Its ability to attract birds and butterflies has made it a popular ornamental tree.
Cultivation Notes: Guajillo is a shrub, but with the right pruning, can be trained into a small multi-trunked tree. It is commonly used as an ornamental tree, as it is aromatic and attractive (2). It can also be used as a barrier in a landscape, as they look attractive in groups. 
Guajillo is low-growing plant, and tolerant of many soil types and shade conditions (1,4). The A. berlandieri can endure long periods of drought and re-sprout from the base (4,6). The viability of the seed is about 82% under dry and moist conditions with normal day/night temperatures (7). When its pods drop, it can make the ground underneath messy.

Animals such as birds, small mammals, bees and other insects are all attracted to this tree for its nectar and fruit. The leaves of guajillo contain high amounts of nitrogen and energy, and provide a good forage resource for animals (1).

Height: 11 - 15 feet
Width: 11 - 15 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate Growing
Grow Season: Summer
Flower Season: Spring
Color: White
Function: Screen
Spread: Spreading
Allergen: Allergenic
Invasive: Benign
Toxicity: Benign
Hardy: Hardy
Water Use: Low water Use


1. H Nantoume, T.D.A Forbes, C.M Hensarling, S.S Sieckenius. (2001). Small Ruminant Research (page. 139-148): Nutritive value and palatability of guajillo (Acacia berlandieri) as a component of goat diets. Taxas. Print.

2. Covell, C.V., Jr (2005). Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America. Print

3. Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright (1999). Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides). Print

4. Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski (2002). Native Texas Plants: Land scaping region by Region. Print.

5. Beverly A Clement, Christina M Goff, T. David A Forbes (1998). Phytochemistry: Toxic amines and alkaloids from acacia berlandieri. Texas. Print.

6. H. Gonzalez RodrIguez, I. Cantu Silva, M.V. Gomez Meza and W. R. Jordan (2010). Seasonal Plant Water Relationships in Acacia berlandieri. Published online.

7. M.K. Owens, R.B. Wallace. S.Archer (1995). Journal of Arid Environments: Seed dormancy and persistence of Acacia berlandieri and Leucaena pulverulenta in a semi-arid environment. Texas. Printed.

8. Jones, Warren D, and Charles M Sacamano. Landscape Plants for Dry Regions: More Than 600 Species from around the World. Fisher Books, 2000.


Acacia berlandieri